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March 2022

A message from Professor Claire Fuller 

I wanted to begin by reflecting on events in the Ukraine and the devastation we are seeing as the situation develops as people flee the area looking for safety. Our thoughts are with everyone affected, both in the Ukraine and closer to home, where people will be worried about friends and relatives, and doing all they can to help. 

As a system, we are of working closely with partners across Surrey on our local response. Following the kindness of so many wanting to help, we are already welcoming people travelling from the Ukraine into Surrey, either to stay in organised accommodation or to stay with people and families who have come forward to help. We will be working in collaboration to ensure people receive the help, support and healthcare they need and this will be a key focus for us over the coming weeks.    

Despite moving into the spring, we are still seeing pressures in the system across all our services, linked to higher than usual staff sickness rates, partly due to Covid. Worryingly, rates are increasing again in some parts of Surrey and nationally so whilst we are moving forward and the focus is now on ‘living with covid’ and recovery, it’s important we continue to be vigilant. 

As we have seen, getting vaccinated is the best way to get protected as it can limit the severity of symptoms and help avoid hospitalisation and, as the programme moves into the next phase, hundreds and thousands of eligible people are now being invited to book a Spring Covid booster. You can read more on this below. Vaccines will also soon be offered to all children aged 5 to 11 years – more information will be coming out on this very soon.

As we follow progress of the Health and Social Care Bill, we continue to prepare to become a new statutory Integrated Care System from 1 July, subject to legislation. You can read about our latest appointments to our new ICB Shadow Board, which is now meeting, below. Earlier this month our Integrated Care Partnership (ICP) Committee also met for the first time. As the ICS develops, this will be an increasingly important forum for driving our work to tackle health inequalities, challenging us to take a whole system approach to improve quality and outcomes, not just in relation to health but also in terms of broader social and economic development.

Linked to this, and our work to address inequalities, working with Surrey County Council, we have made an important commitment to ensure that no-one in Surrey is left behind. You can read more about this, and some of the actions being taken to support this shared ambition, below.  

And with a continued focus on sustainability and the target for the NHS to reduce its carbon footprint and reach net zero by 2045, lastly I wanted to recognise some great work by Surrey and Sussex Healthcare Trust on their Green Plan. As an ICS, we are currently developing our own plan, setting out our ambitions in this area and how we are taking forward the green agenda locally, making sure we are playing our part for our residents and for future generations. 

Best wishes,


Professor Claire Fuller, Senior Responsible Officer and Chief Executive Designate, Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care System and Interim Accountable Officer, NHS Surrey Heartlands Clinical Commissioning Group

Focus on recovery 

Recovery is a big focus for us as a system and recently the government published the national Delivery Plan for Tackling the Covid-19 Backlog of Elective Care, which sets out a clear plan for the NHS, focusing on four areas of delivery:

  • Increasing capacity
  • Prioritising diagnosis and treatment
  • Transforming elective care 
  • Providing better information and support to patients

In response, we're developing our own plan for Surrey Heartlands that will enable us to address the current backlog that has arisen due to Covid, reduce waiting times and get people in for operations and planned procedures as quickly as possible.

One development that will help is the launch of new community testing centres across Surrey (announced as part of a national programme), which will see increased testing and health monitoring services in GP practices and health centres, as well as dedicated hubs at Milford and Woking Community hospitals, which will provide more scanning, alongside other services.


Non-Executive Members appointed to new Integrated Care Board 

Subject to parliamentary approval, from July 2022 a new NHS Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care Board will replace the current NHS Clinical Commissioning Group and become responsible for the planning and delivery of local health and care services across the system, also holding the local NHS budget.

In preparation for this change, we continue to recruit to the new Board and we have now appointed four new Non-Executive Members to join us. 

Peter Collis, Lynette Nusbacher, John Marsh and Sara Hurley will join Non-Executive Member Michael Parker, appointed in January, to take up key positions on the new NHS Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care Board (ICB), currently operating in shadow form. 

Read more

No one left behind - a commitment to Surrey 

In Surrey we have an ultimate ambition – that no one is left behind. This means we want to help those who need us most, whilst also improving quality of life for everyone.

For Surrey County Council, and for us as an integrated health and care system, 'no one left behind' is an important touchstone to ensure we are serving all our residents to the best of our ability. 

Whether it's through work tackling health inequality, extra investment to support people with special educational needs or the work happening to support the environment and protect Surrey for future generations, there are examples everywhere of how we are putting this into action.

Watch now
Read more
SASH launches new Green Plan 

The NHS intends to be the world’s first net-zero carbon health service and Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust is leading the way.

The Trust’s new Green Plan strives to meet three key aims:
  • Reduce the trust's impact on the natural environment and deliver Net Zero Carbon care
  • Support the health and wellbeing of patients, staff and communities by encouraging them to make healthy choices
  • Invest in the future through forward thinking, sustainable decision making.
SASH will kick-start its venture with an aim to reduce its carbon footprint by 57% by 2025. 
Read more

Vaccination programme moves into the next phase 

People are being invited to book a Spring Covid booster as the NHS vaccination programme, the biggest and fastest in health service history, enters a new phase.

Eligible groups for Spring boosters include older care home residents, people who are 75 and over and those who are immunosuppressed who are aged 12 and over.

The NHS is also planning to offer Covid vaccines to all children aged 5 to 11 years from April. We have already been offering vaccinations to clinically at-risk children in this age group so this is a further extension to the programme.

Across Surrey Heartlands, we also continue our more targeted, outreach work, in collaboration with partners to engage with communities and geographic areas where we have seen lower vaccination uptake to ensure the offer is available to everyone.

Read more
Help us, help you with the Surrey Heart Beetz 

With health services remaining busy, we've been running a campaign to help people know which service to use when, if they need treatment or advice.

At the centre of the campaign is an animation, featuring the Heart Beetz, which tells the story of how the band has been battling with illness and accidents – and how NHS 111 and other services can help. 

The campaign also encourages people to think of their High Street pharmacy when they need advice and over-the-counter medicines and to only use A&E for medical emergencies so Emergency Departments can prioritise helping the most critically ill patients.

You can watch the Heart Beetz video below.

Watch now
Read more
Surrey's new £1m clinical research facility to tackle serious illness and diseases 

Research in the South East of England has been given a £1m boost to find new treatments for a range of serious illnesses including cancer, diabetes, digestive and liver diseases.

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has awarded £1m to the University of Surrey and Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust to form a new NIHR Clinical Research Facility called the NIHR Royal Surrey Clinical Research Facility (CRF). 

The state-of-the-art facility will be based at the University’s Manor Park campus, adjacent to Royal Surrey Hospital.
Read more
Surrey and Borders Partnership appoint Chief Executive  

Earlier this month Graham Wareham was appointed as Chief Executive of Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Graham was made interim CEO in December 2021. He joined the Trust in February 2015 from Leonard Cheshire Disability, a charity which provides support for disabled people. Prior to his recent appointment, Graham has previously been the trust’s Chief Finance Officer and Deputy Chief Executive.

Read more
Latest news from Surrey Heartlands
The latest updates on the work of Surrey Heartlands can be found on our website. To find out more please click here.  
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Published by Surrey Heartlands, a partnership of health and care organisations across Surrey. © Surrey Heartlands, all rights reserved.

Surrey Heartlands and its partner organisations make every effort to ensure that the information in this newsletter is accurate and up-to-date. However, we cannot accept responsibility for any loss or inconvenience caused by reliance on inaccurate material contained here or on our website.  Links to other websites are provided for your convenience and do not imply endorsement by the partners within Surrey Heartlands.